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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 22, 2007

(Mahwah) – Collection Parallax will open in the Kresge Gallery on the campus of Ramapo College Wednesday, November 7 and continue through December 12.  An opening reception will be held Wednesday, November 7 from 5 – 7 p.m.  An artist’s talk by Mr. Imagination, whose work is on exhibit, will be given Wednesday, December 12 at 3 p.m. in the Kresge Gallery.

“Ramapo College’s collection exhibitions on campus have usually centered around Haitian art and our internationally renowned Selden Rodman Collection of Popular Arts,” notes Sydney Jenkins, director of the art galleries and curator of this exhibit.  “Collection Parallax combines non-Haitian works from the Rodman Collection with loans from private collections and other sources, including art from various geographies and featuring self-taught artists from Jamaica, Africa and the United States.”  He defines parallax as the apparent displacement of an object due to a change in observational position.

The artists represented include Howard Finster (USA), one of the most renowned self-taught artists of the 20th century whose work combines paintings and cutouts with, at times, fervent religious and historical imagery and text; Kamante Gatura (Africa), whose work is on loan from the private collection of film director Jonathan Demme, features figurative color and black and white drawings of animals and hunters; Kapo (Jamaica), who makes wooden busts and paintings with sources in Jamaican Revival religion; Justin McCarthy (USA), whose gestural paintings feature Biblical and other subjects; Mr. Imagination (USA), whose constructions include a throne characterized by surfaces covered with found materials such as bottlecaps; Ras Dizzy (Jamaica), who creates expressionistic paintings of people, animals and racetracks; Jack Savitsky (USA), a Pennsylvania miner who made scenes based on everyday life in the mining country; Jon Serl (USA), a California artist who worked as an actor, represented by several works with ambiguous and haunting figure narratives; Annie Tolliver (USA), who depicts bottles and colorful paintings in a flat style, and Mose Tolliver (USA), who creates scenes of erotica and people and animals.

Jenkins adds that artists who are not part of the Selden Rodman Collection are represented to give context and also to point to future areas of exhibition research.  These include Jamaican artists Leonard Daley and Jahn Morris, the renowned self-taught artist Bill Traylor, and contemporary African-American artist Radcliffe Bailey, who shows an African Diaspora themed work.

Randall Morris, a leading expert and writer about Jamaican and other genres of self-taught art and co-director of Cavin Morris Gallery in New York City, will speak during the opening reception on November 7 at 6 p.m.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Brooke Anderson, director and curator of the Contemporary Center at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, will give a talk on esteemed self-taught artist Martin Ramirez titled “Martin Ramirez:  Mexico, Motifs, and Memory” titled “Self-Taught Art Issues” on Wednesday, November 14 at 3 p.m. in the Adler Theater on campus.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Kresge Gallery is located in the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College.  Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, 1 to 7 p.m.  For more information, call (201) 684-7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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